Hello! This is Rachel. If you clicked on the link hoping to find that Casey is revealing his passion for cooking and baking, I’m sorry to disappoint you. He does make amazing Red-Lobster-style biscuits, though, if you ever want to request them!
Tk,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,l76hdff (That’s from my cat walking across my lap. I thought it was cute.)
Getting to the point, this is a blog post that I realized I need to write. For myself! I would love to get some insight from you, and sometimes writing on its own does the trick. I say “trick,” but if you’ve ever tried to learn a trick, like a cartwheel, it still takes a while to figure out (I’m STILL figuring the cartwheel out) so I don’t expect to have gained any insight by the end of this blog post, but here goes…
I’ve wanted to be a food blogger for some time. I think. Ever since I started reading food blogs when teaching myself how to cook, especially after moving out of the family nest almost two years ago now. Food blogs are my cookbooks. I always look in the cupboards/garden/fridge for what I have, form a vague recipe in my head, then Google to see what’s out there. For some reason, food blogging seems like the perfect (well, maybe not so perfect, as I will talk about in a moment) niche for me.
1. I’ve always been both artsy and tech-y. At some point in high school, I wanted to be a graphic or web designer (I shoulda stuck with that, now that I think about it—because now I have to teach myself programs and how to code from Dummy’s Guides and webinars… luckily, my father in law is a programmer, too).
2. I’ve always been a writer—at least since 1st or 2nd grade when I wrote mystery “novels.” In my senior year of high school, I finally realized that the writing ability which came to me naturally might actually be unique, and it made me feel good about myself, so I decided I wanted to be a writer. Since then, I’ve of course realized that writing is one of the most elusive “careers” to pursue. But worth it?
3. Finally… I love to cook… ever since I concocted my first Minestrone soup for the family, throwing in this spice and that, and then serving it and seeing my dad’s face light up with sincere delight. I also had a mentor in late high school who invited me and a couple other girls over every Sunday evening to cook dinner using recipes from her Rachael Ray cookbooks. That was how it began… Then, in college, dabbling in the kitchen became one of my favorite and only hobbies (also a necessity after marriage). It was my avenue of relaxation between homework and track meets, and I felt the hobby was justified because I was either saving money, fueling myself for running, or making something delicious or healthy for my Casey!
In short, I love to cook, design and write. Many women in today’s blogosphere are able to make an actual income (and work from home, and raise kids!) combining these abilities, sharing their creative recipes with the world via food blogs. If you are unfamiliar with food blogs, just Google a recipe and click any of the links that come up. They’re everywhere and they are legitimate businesses now—taking just as much dedication and work as any other career. It takes even more initiative to “make it” and actually get paid as a food blogger. But, I DO think I have what it takes to make it. If I want to. There are many people who can if they want to!
I also think I have what it takes to break it. Here is my honest assessment of myself and my weaknesses and why I can’t bring myself to dive in to that first food blog:
- I am scared of social media and the internet. And I don’t mean that I don’t know how to use it. I’m a millenial! I know how to use it all too well—which is a great skill when you’re a food blogger. From everything I’ve ever read, your blogging success is based on your ability to use all social media (Facebook, Pinterest) outlets and search engines (Google). To be a successful food blogger, I would have to be on social media A LOT. Responding to comments, sharing, networking, on and on. So what? Well, I’m scared of what social media and the internet does… to myself and sometimes to society. At least I know for myself… For one, the internet sucks me in. Have you ever had the sensation that one hour can disappear through a time warp? A precious hour! Oh, what I could do with an hour… bake, spend time in the garden, go for a run, talk to someone in person… And when I “get off” of social media, sometimes, frankly, I’m dazed and my priorities are all mixed up. Sometimes I get confused like the social media world is the one that matters, rather than the living breathing one at my fingertips. People matter, yes, but I’m still trying to figure out how important their online identities are.
- I don’t want to be a career woman. Yes, I would like to have a job… I’ve been..ahrm..working on that… But when I (eventually) have a family aka kids, I want to be a family woman. A mother, if you will. That doesn’t mean I won’t work a job. I might work part time with kids. But I DO know that I want to focus my full attention on our children, especially when they are pre-school-age. I don’t think daycare is wrong and I don’t want to start any arguments about it, but Casey and I want to raise our kids ourselves during their impressionable, formative years. Not that we have parenting licenses… but… back to food blogging… If that’s successful, it’s an actual career. One that follows you home, literally! Imagine cooking dinner and then having to take fancy pictures of it before you serve it! Um, no. I’ve read mothers’ accounts of food blogging and how they set aside a specific time for it when their kids are sleeping or their husbands are home, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to do that because…
- I am *naturally* a procrastinator. Especially when it comes to writing, even though I love it. I just struggle to sit down and write like the wind like my husband can. True confession: I either like to be munching on something (not a good habit) or stand up and walk around and get distracted by something else between sentences. Okay, it’s not that bad, especially when I know what I want to write about (I’m more thinking college term papers…) I know it would be very rewarding to overcome my natural weaknesses and set boundaries for myself. I just know it will be challenging… And I probably underestimate the process, too.
- I have had unhealthy preoccupations with food in the past. I mean, sometimes I still do. I love food! But back in high school I used to be too preoccupied with how healthy my food was. It, ironically, wasn’t healthy for me. Since being a runner in college, I’ve learned to love food for what it is, as a delicious gift from God but also fuel for life. Sometimes I still cook and bake healthy, but I don’t want food to become my preoccupation again. Food is supposed to be a means to an end—living and loving—not an end in itself.
- Last but not least, I fear food blogging failure. Well, what is failure to me? To me, it would be pouring myself into something that never sees fruition, taking me away from more important things in the process. I have a husband to love and serve, a farm to foster, prayers to pray, people to love. I don’t want shallow things like food and the internet to pull me away from those. Maybe I would need to make sure that my food blogging venture—whether it earned me an income or not—was in tune with the other parts of my life: used as a ministry in itself, contained within boundaries that protect my family, spiritual life, and other goals from being consumed.
After all of these reasons, maybe I won’t have a food blog. Or maybe I will–it sounds like a fun way to use my gifts!–and set good boundaries from the outset. More than likely, I will test the waters for a set amoung of time and be willing to abandon it if it doesn’t feel right. The options are endless! Please pray for me as God leads my thoughts on it even more. And thanks for reading!